According to Chinese scientists, supramolecular chemistry is able to provide an entirely new approach to the treatment of altsgeymerizma. So, the first time they were able to demonstrate the ability of supramolecular complexes to inhibit protein aggregation process, which is considered the cause of this disease.
Alzheimer's disease - one of the most common causes of progressive dementia among older people. Number of people living with this diagnosis is approaching 35 million; say, this figure will triple by 2050. One of the pathological aggregation will disease is amyloid beta peptide (Aβ) with the formation of insoluble protein deposits, the plaques. The main direction in the search for therapeutic and preventive agents of the disease is considered to be the development of inhibitors of protein aggregation atypical Aβ.
The vast majority of the proposed today inhibitors - a small organic molecule, the main drawback of which nonspecific action. Researchers at the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry (China), as usual, went the other way: they used the method of screening using living cells that produce the wrong protein, marking its fluorescent protein. In the screening process were able to identify two "cylindrical" metallosupramolekulyarnyh complex that can block protein aggregation Aβ.
Interestingly, the structure of these cylinders reminded scientists zinc fingers - small protein structural motifs that are usually associated with one or more zinc ions (most likely on this relationship and build a basic assumption on which it is necessary to choose the structure for screening). Zinc fingers are long known that are able to regulate the binding protein (of which they are included) with other proteins or DNA molecules.
Important: detecting complexes formed not only prevent new protein aggregates, but also destabilize the already existing deposits. (By the way, if the mechanism of the lock is still possible to guess, I realized how is the destabilization of already formed aggregates, is not possible.) Tests on mice have shown that the complexes are able to reduce the level of insoluble Aβ, partially eliminating the deficit of spatial memory rodents.
While we were at a loss as supramolecular complexes, structures, by definition, is quite large, managed to overcome the blood-brain barrier. But the authors know better ... However, there is an option injections in the head: it works with mice, they do not feel sorry for anybody.
Report on a study published in the journal Chemical Science.